COTA Victoria regularly receives phone calls and emails from older people with worries about retirement villages. Their concerns include:
- contracts and fee structures that are complex and confusing
- difficulty seeking a refund of ongoing contributions when leaving a retirement village
- younger people and families living in villages designed for older people
- confusion about the differences between retirement villages, lifestyle villages and residential aged care facilities
- inability to access aged care services and being forced into residential aged care in order to access care.
In response to these concerns, the Victorian Government is reviewing the Retirement Villages Act 1986 (Vic) and is expected to introduce new legislation to parliament before the 2022 election.
COTA Victoria is part of the review’s Stakeholder Reference Group. We want to see a retirement housing system that protects the rights of older people and meets their expectations of a safe, welcoming, affordable and supportive community. To that end, we have developed a set of principles for retirement villages reform.
If you live in a retirement village, or are considering moving into one, you may want to write to your member of parliament about why the law needs to be improved. It’s easy – just use our draft letter and add your local member’s name and contact details.